December 22-25, 2006
Swans patrol Chetola Lake amid bright Christmas lights. The Blowing Rock resort is known for its annual holiday light display. Photo by Marie Freeman
U.S. 321 re-opens to traffic
U.S. 321 south of Blowing Rock is now open again after a massive construction effort dealt with a rockslide that hampered traffic for nearly two weeks.
School board bids farewell to Reese
Monday’s Board of Education Meeting marked the beginning of a new era, as the first meeting since the retirement of long-time chairman Andy Reese. The board unanimously elected Lowell Younce as its new chairman.
WMC gets wired
Watauga Medical Center is seeking to join the ranks of the “Most Wired” among the country’s hospitals.
Burr navigates his first bill into a new law
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s first major bill since his election in 2004 was signed into law Tuesday by Pres. George Bush.
High Country news briefs: Physician charged in two Florida molestation cases
A physician with a link to Watauga County connection is facing child molestation charges in two Florida counties, and authorities are seeking other possible victims in the case. Dr. George Pyke, 58, a Manatee County, Fla., resident at the time of his June 5 arrest, reportedly vacationed frequently at a home in the Beech Mountain community until May of this year. The home was owned by the family of the alleged victims.
Appstate.net widens its local wireless net
Two years ago, local Internet service provider Appstate.net embarked on a mission —Broadband for Everyone.
ASU ROTC reaches goal
Mission accomplished. Again. the second consecutive year, Appalachian State University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program accomplished its mission of graduating a set number of lieutenants into the U.S. Army.
Budget woes topple planned tree survey
After a successful Christmas tree season, local growers and tree marketers may be missing a tool that’s just as important as a chainsaw and a baler.
Minority status changes little for some committees
North Carolina U.S. representatives will see little committee change despite working in the minority parties in the coming term. The three Republicans maintained their committee assignments, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole added a new committee to her list.
December 20, 2006
Backhoe falls off turning truck;
smashes into cars on N.C. 105
A speeding dump truck driver missed a turn on N.C. 105 Monday afternoon and spilled a backhoe tractor onto four cars, injuring two occupants, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol. Tiffany Smith, 22, and 45-year-old Lisa Kisiah received minor injuries in the collision. They were treated and released from the Watauga Medical Center Monday afternoon. A Highway Patrol spokesman said, 22-year-old Chad Higgins, an employee of Solid Ground Grading Co., was hauling a backhoe on his trailer south on N.C. 105 when he attempted to turn right onto the N.C. 105 Bypass. speed caused the backhoe to shift on the trailer and tip onto the cars attempting to turn from the bypass onto N.C. 105. Higgins has been cited for exceeding a safe speed and reckless driving. The crash occurred just after noon and required about two-and-a-half hours to clean up. Traffic was backed up in several directions. Story by Jerry Sena, staff writer; photo by Marie Freeman
Construction crew charged with Friday blazes
A forest fire on Stone Mountain tore through the site of an upcoming development Friday morning. The blaze occurred near Burkett Road, off Big Hill Road in the Meat Camp fire district, with the call coming in around 6:40 a.m. Nearby residents had noticed a fire crawling up the side of Stone Mountain’s rocky terrain.
Sheriff's report: Dec. 4 — Brandon Lee Bowles, 22, of 2075 Watauga River Rd., Sugar Grove, was served with an order for arrest alleging breaking and entering a motor vehicle and felony larceny.
Park Service joins forces with ASU
The Blue Ridge Parkway is getting some of the best local brains and talent behind its research and inventory projects, forming an alliance with Appalachian State University.
State’s top teen stops by Boone to ring a bell
North Carolina’s Miss Outstanding Teen helped ring in the holidays with a Saturday visit to Boone.
Editor's View: Split ticket? Nice idea but just not very likely
After baseball, America’s other favorite pastime has always been Presidential Roulette. Like glassy-eyed “American Idol” watchers, we all try to guess which candidate will click that winning combination to open the White House doors, as well as a passel of cushy jobs that begin with “Secretary of,” not the mention control of the world’s largest and most deployed military machine since Hannibal’s elephants crossed the Alps.
December 18, 2006
ASU wins second Nat'l Championship
Appalachian State 28, Massachusetts 17
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Appalachian State's Kevin Richardson needs no directions to the end zone — or to the team’s second national championship.
Massachusetts found that out Friday night. Richardson ran for 170 yards and four touchdowns to lead Appalachian State to a 28-17 victory over the Minutemen in the FCS/Division I-AA national championship game.
Study: Wataugans can’t afford to live in county
A new housing study suggests that most Watauga County residents can’t really afford to live here. The study, Out of Reach 2006, was jointly released by the Washington, D.C.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition and the North Carolina Housing Coalition, whose director Chris Estes said 58 percent of the county’s residents didn’t earn enough to comfortably rent a modest apartment.
New Tot Lot boosters hope to swing more donations
Supporters of new equipment for the Boone Tot Lot are targeting businesses over the winter in a fund-raising campaign that they hope will enable construction to begin in the spring.
Adopt me at Watauga Humane Society!